Several studies on the costs of payments have been published in the last decade. However, these studies do not take into account the ecological footprint of the payments market. What is a cost-efficient payment mix in this respect? Which payment mix is sustainable? It is necessary to not only concentrate on cash and the cash cycle in isolation, but also to take close substitutes into account. And the future of kryptos and CBDC also play a role.
Our aim is to give a critical overview of existing analyses and present new evidence and ideas. Which part of the cash cycle is mostly affected? What is the difference between banknotes and coins? What about the difference between polymer and paper banknotes? How do different resource costs of different payment media matter with respect to sustainability? And what about the environmental costs of the cashless payments infrastructure?